It is the California Teacher's Association Week of Action and in Pacifica School District, educators, parent-teacher organizations and the district board of directors will participate in events and initiatives to oppose a cuts-only state budget.
The bottom line for both resolutions was clear:
"Pacifica School District may be forced to cut up to $1.5 million from its budget if the Legislature does not pass revenue extensions," reads the city council's resolution. "To begin to reverse this downward spiral, Californians must retain the revenues that enable us to invest in our schools and students."
According to Wendy Tukloff, superintendent of Pacifica School District (PSD), PSD may face a budget of approximately $4,600 per student should a cuts-only state budget pass, less than the current funding of about $4,980 per student.
State funding accounts for 90 percent of the school district's budget.
Compare this large percentage to funding from grants and foundations which account for only 2 percent of the budget and the voter-approved parcel tax (Measure N) which supports 5 percent of the budget. Parent teacher organizations also generate funding for 2 percent of the budget. The remaining 1 percent is financed by federal stimulus money.
Nevertheless, Tukloff said that every source of funding is essential and "the community has been very generous."
In just one example of generosity, the Pacifica Education Foundation raised $250,000 for Pacifica schools in 2009 and is currently campaigning to raise more funds.
"We cannot afford to take any more reductions," said Tukloff. "If you want quality education, you have to restore funding, not reduce it."
Educate Our State, a grassroots, parent-led organization in support of reform to the California state public school system, will visit Pacifica next week to share a message similar to Tukloff's. Local group Saving Pacifica Schools will host the organization at its next meeting in , 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
Saving Pacifica Schools is using Facebook to publish details about the event. Kalimah Salahuddin, President of Saving Pacifica Schools, said on the group's Facebook page,"We need to take part in more statewide activity to effect change."
All week long, Saving Pacifica Schools is encouraging support for PSD through simple commitments posted on the group's website such as writing a letter of appreciation to a Pacifica teacher.
Educators from Pacifica and the region will attend a rally at the Civic Centre Plaza in San Francisco at 4 p.m. on Friday.
Stay tuned to Pacifica Patch in the coming week for updates on Week of Action.